Woman Reunited With Mum 24 Years After Gang Kidnap

Story ByAngjela TrajkovskaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

Picture Credit: CEN

A 28-year-old woman has been reunited with her mother thanks to Facebook after she was kidnapped at the age of four from her garden because her grandfather was an alleged gang member.

Marina Fernanda Aragunde, 28, was reportedly kidnapped from the garden of her home in the city of Marcos Paz in province of Buenos Aires in eastern Argentina when she was four years old on 1st February 1995, reportedly as vengeance against her granddad who belonged to a drug trafficking gang.

Her grandfather Fernando Esquivel and her father Horacio Esquivel were reportedly arrested seven months after her disappearance for being gang members.

Picture Credit: CEN

Marina, who was raised in another family, said: “They kidnapped me and sold me. They bought a false identity in the Migration authorities in Mar del Plata [resort city in Argentina].

“It was to harm my granddad but they did not see that they were harming my mother above all.”

She was reunited with her mother, Maria Beatriz Aragunde, 46, thanks to a Facebook group her mother created to help find her where she shared photos of her as a child and left messages for her, according to local media.

Picture Credit: CEN

One of the messages read: “Hi daughter, I want you to know that I’m still looking for you, they grabbed you from my life when you were four, now you are 28.”

Marina Fernanda, who was renamed by her captors as Valeria, found the page and decided to reply: “I recognised myself on one photo of the Facebook group ‘Where are you?’.

After 24 years, the mother and daughter were reunited in the city of Rosario in the province of Santa Fe in central-eastern Argentina.

Marina, who said she does not remember her mother, said: “The first time I saw it her was so powerful.

Picture Credit: CEN/Clarin

“I saw her coming and it was like my soul was complete.”

She has started the legal procedure to regain her true identity.

Local media report that since the moth and daughter found each other they have received constant threats which is why they have made their story public.

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Angjela Trajkovska

I am a journalist and subeditor working for Central European News.

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